nourishment for the soul, just
as a meal does for the body.
~ Paulo Coelho
Our lives tend to be very action-oriented. We are busy and our days are guided by our personal and work calendars and to-do lists. Idle time is seen as not being productive or as a waste of time. Fear of missing out is so prevalent that it has its own acronym, FOMO.
This is true even on vacations, where it's hard to be still or relax; it often seems like the time needs to be "maximized" by doing and seeing as much as possible, and by constantly taking and posting pictures and descriptions of activities and sights.
Most people don't remember their nighttime dreams, and even fewer allow themselves the luxury of dreaming while awake. Yet dreaming, imagining, fantasizing and contemplating are not a waste of time. They "nourish the soul" as the quote says, in very direct ways. Our non-directed mental and imaginal meanderings and musings carry the seeds of our desires and creativity. The very essence of who we each are inhabits these dreams which provide images and ideas of how to bring these dreams to life, as your life.
This soulful nourishment inspires the direction our lives take. Are you ready to dream your life into being the life you are truly meant to have, and the person you are truly meant to be?
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if you are ready to dream your life into being
The true art form is
being a human being.
I am frequently awed by the way in which each person I encounter is a unique expression of being human, as unique as their fingerprints are. Even identical twins are never completely the same. Everyone shares the human condition and yet expresses it in a completely new and unrepeatable way.
I reflect on this often in my psychotherapy practice. All people share a basic human experience and yet each has a completely creative way of consciously and unconsciously adapting, surviving, thriving, developing, responding and reacting to their life circumstances. The combination of nature and nurture is powerful and sculpts the artistic creation that is each life.
In therapy (as in life), each person has a completely unique way of facing, overcoming and healing from wounds and trauma or simply the general vicissitudes of life. Depression, anxiety, fear, sadness, loss are faced and confronted in a way that is unique to each individual, finding within themselves different symbols or metaphors that assist in that process. Some people are more resilient than others, some find the courage and strength to change and some do not.
Works of art are not always what we might consider aesthetically beautiful- in fact some of the most powerful music is atonal, some of the most moving art is dark or stormy, some of the most evocative dance is wild and fierce. These are apt metaphors for the mysterious and numinous creativity that is each human life.
Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley